Democratic Primary Debates This Week: What Time Is It? What Channels? Who’s On Which Night?
The first round of the Democratic primary debates is set to take place on Wednesday and Thursday night this week, from 9 to 11 p.m. ET, with 10 candidates appearing each night.
The debates will be streamed live on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, with various other websites, such as NPR, providing live commentary and fact-checking. Each debate will have five moderators: NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, Today show anchor Savannah Guthrie, Telemundo and NBC Nightly News anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd and MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow.
The candidates set to appear on Wednesday, the first night, are: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
On Thursday the following politicians and entrepreneurs will debate: former vice president Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, California Rep. Eric Swalwell, writer and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
Bios for some of the candidates, such as O’Rourke and Yang, can be found here.
The Democratic National Committee hoped to avoid the debacle of the 2016 Republican primary, where all the lower-tier candidates were at one debate and the higher-tier ones at another, by dividing candidates into groups based on whether they had garnered over 2% in polls and then mixing the two groups up each night. However, the way that the system chose resulted in Warren being the only top-tier candidate to appear on Wednesday night, with Harris, Buttigieg, Biden, and Sanders appearing on Thursday.
Many lesser-known candidates, such as Yang, hope to rise to prominence by appearing on national television, and some hope that they can make a name for themselves by punching up at their more popular opponents. It is likely that Biden, the current frontrunner, will be attacked by many of his fellow Democrats, especially Sanders, for his apparent lack of commitment to the liberal agenda. Whether the former vice president, who has so far remained focused on Trump instead of his fellow candidates, can rebuff such attacks.
Looking forward to the debates this week. 😀🇺🇸🥊 pic.twitter.com/KS5UIaySRn
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) June 23, 2019
Each candidate will have 60 seconds to answer any questions, with 30 seconds for follow-ups.